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Jane Ori
Jane Ori

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A Trip Down Memory Lane; How Game Hacking Became My Web Development Career

@kanishkkhurana asked what our first learned language was and has me feeling nostalgic :)

Thought I'd share those comments with everyone:

N64 GameShark codes.
Had to learn what hexadecimal was. And binary.
Then what addresses meant when looking at ram.
Then logic gates.

My entire career of web engineering eventually grew from there.

10/10 would recommend

WOW this sounds amazing.
in my 2nd year of uni , i took a course dealing with logic gates and stuff and though i am really bad at circuits , this was a fun one !
please do tell me your journey into web dev!

I needed a place to show off the hacks I was creating, my friend from school, Amber, showed me she had a website. Blew my mind. "Tell me everything." So I signed up for geocities that night. hahaha

In mid GameCube hacking era, I had friends from the hacking communities offer to host websites for me. Queue learning PHP & MySQL.

Then I added an admin page and learned AJAX so I could update my site without a bunch of manual work.

My friend and one of the "main characters" in the game hacking scene taught me regular expressions and my passion for parsing and transpiling code was born there.

One of the problems with game hacking communities at the time was that hackers couldn't share their work onto the main hub sites - you'd post in forums and wait for admins to see it and they added them. (then you have to ask for it to be updated when you make changes, etc - a gated hassle for everyone)

When Wii era hacking very first began, I went heads down for one week and created a multi-admin database for Wii codes. Hosting got passed around a lot over the years but I never paid for it. Authors had access to every game but could only contribute their own work and were only able to edit and remove any/all of their own work, whenever they wanted.

It grew into the world's largest Wii hacking database and had many years of success. It was fun! (I took it offline 2 years ago though. The contributions all moved to today's largest all-platforms game RAM hacking hub where hackers can manage their own contributions)

And of course, all the web stuff happened in parallel to other branches; I learned PowerPC ASM with a close hacker friend (who hosted my first non-geocities site for many many years) and started doing more complex assembly hacks.

I learned Java and created a few hacking utilities - one of them let you upload and compare ram dumps to help you find stable pointers in memory. (Pointers are addresses stored in ram as a value that updates and map to moving memory with a fixed offset. Like when an object loads, it doesn't always hit the same spot in ram, but a pointer showing where it loads will exist somewhere) Super useful because that kind of work wasn't easy to do without it.

Then in college I wrote an app in C that ran directly on the Wii from the Homebrew Channel that interfaced with my database online. That made almost everything more convenient for the audiences to use everyone's work. I loved that app! So fun.

...Yep! That's the start anyway! :)

Thank you for asking about this stuff, it was fun taking a trip down memory lane! 💜

Head over to @kanishkkhurana's post and share your beginnings!
There are several other unique stories that are worth reading in the comments too!

// Jane 💜

Top comments (3)

kanishkkhurana profile image
Kanishk Khurana

oh my god! i could actually see your journey like a movie! it was so so interesting and inspiring! I am so happy to see how much the community has helped you learn , that was one thing which was really missing around me for the longest time.
this entire blog should be like a video or movie !
(and also thank you for the shoutout!)

janeori profile image
Jane Ori

this is probably the best comment I will ever see hahaha
thank you so much! ^^

Nothing more rewarding than collaborative learning - follow your excitement, find communities around your interests, the rest will follow ~

kanishkkhurana profile image
Kanishk Khurana

Absolutely !
be like water and keep flowing , doing your thing and good things will follow !